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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:04 am    Post subject: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

Here is the place to discuss about the Black Box.


This post is my personal Pros and Cons.

Pros (compared to distributors):
These statements below from CB are true.
Quote:
- Improved Idle Quality
- Improved Drive-ability
- Improved Performance
What else could you ask for under $200?

Quote:
Turn your old school mechanical advance distributor into a high-powered programmable ignition
as in CB's webpage.
Actually, it also works with vacuum advance or SVDA distributor.

Quote:
The Black Box also has an internal low and high end rev limiter.

Quote:
The Black Box will connect to ignition points, aftermarket ignition modules such as Compufire and Pertronix, MSD distributors, CB Performance Magnaspark Ready-to-run and Magnetic Trigger distributors.

Quote:
Most aftermarket ignition boxes can also be used such as MSD 6Al, 7Al, Summit and Mallory.

Quote:
The Black Box uses an internal coil driver that will support up to 8 cylinders.
This allows you to use low primary resistance coil. and lower resistance is better.

Works great for turbo without complex vacuum/boost can.

It's better than any distributors.
These days, you can't find a new good quality distibutor.
Why don't you buy a Black Box and get a smooth advance curve suit your engine?

You need to lock your distributor.
But CB has a little spacer to lock a non-German 009 distributors.
That's very easy to install.
(German 009 doesn't have a screw on top of the shaft)


Cons (compared to distributors):
-Still, you need to lock a distributor. Sometimes it's hard to do for DIY.
-You need a mobile Windows computor.
-You have to make your own timing table. It's fun Very Happy
-More complex wiring. Lace them neatly Cool

Any other cons???



People want to bash the Black Box always recommend crank trigger.
Yes, that's better. But there are pros and cons, too.

Pros (compared to crank trigger):
-You can keep your favorite good looking distributor like 010, 009, Mallory...in the engine bay.
-The unit is only $200.

Cons (compared to crank trigger):
-Mechanical lash of distributor reduces acuracy.
-Rotor phase could occur.
-Internal MAP sensor's acuracy is 12.5kpa range. Too wide to dial in.
-The software interface is not so good.


The Black Box is not the best ignition but the ultimate distributor alternative.


Last edited by Porsche60 on Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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RailBoy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, see a guy that is on my level, so quick question on a comparison of the "Black Box" in contrast to a 019 or 010 on an over 2,000cc engine....

Is it for sure better than any one of the two distributors alone on over 2,000cc Engines with just these two distributors (019 or 010)?

Yea, I am into 2110 and 2180's but 2276's are out there as well and 010's work great on them, then of course, like you said, why a "Black Box" over MSD and all?

Why I ask is that the above distributors and ignitions have steep curves which derives the torque out of the bigger motors, or can't or the Black Box beat them on these sized motors meaning the "Black Box is just a good altenative when hooked to an 009 that is locked plus for smaller motors, plus when you don't have the above distributors or ignitions?

Basically what I am getting at is how much more can you "Dial In" your timing over the above distributors/ignitions with the "Black Box" and make it easier to do a "Burn Out?" lol.. RB
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donnmon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 5:35 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

Porsche60 wrote:

The Black Box is not the best ignition but the ultimate distributor alternative.


Hi Porsche60

I hope I am not misunderstanding what you mean but if you are talking about the best alternative distributor I would argue that at the moment this is the 123Tune. I don't want to upset anyone by saying this, I am just interested to essentially peer review the product and compare it to the alternatives just as I am assuming you are doing with the Black Box.

The reason I recommend this product is because it is the only truly 'plug and play' alternative to standard mechanical distributors.

Firstly the unit is really easy to install since it is self contained and needs no modifications to work.

Secondly, it is also fully USB compatible requiring no serial/USB converter.

Thirdly the software is perhaps easier to use than the spark table setup on the Black Box. Data entry is done via two curves, one for mechanical and one for vacuum.

Fourthly and perhaps most important of all the quality is very high. This is reflected in the price but it counters the disadvantage of the Black Box in that you will still need a decent distributor to trigger the unit. I have not used it but I am assuming that the black box is only as accurate as the distributor switching it? This is not a consideration with the 123Tune.

I am sure there are disadvantages to the 123Tune over other types of ignition units but as an alternative replacement distributor I have not found anything to match it except perhaps the Magnaspark digital. I would like to buy one of these to compare but I have been unable to resolve some issues I have with it so until I get an answer about those there seems to be little point.

I am interested to find other 123Tune users and discuss their experiences but it seems they are few and far between on the Samba.


Last edited by donnmon on Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:33 am; edited 3 times in total
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Pat D
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porsche 60, I'm curious to know how many different types of programmable ignitions you have run whether with carbs or efi?
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RailBoy wrote:

Is it for sure better than any one of the two distributors alone on over 2,000cc Engines with just these two distributors (019 or 010)?


if you think 019 or 010 is the best for your engine,
you can program the black box as identical as those distributor.
then, fine tune idle area to make it more driveable and advance low MAP area for lower temp and more fuel economy.

you can set almost every timing curve you want.
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GTV
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Improved mileage as well?
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat D wrote:
Porsche 60, I'm curious to know how many different types of programmable ignitions you have run whether with carbs or efi?


actually none Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Very Happy
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so I'm not qualified to answer questions but there are not many people to answer...

GTV wrote:
Improved mileage as well?


compared to centrifugal distributors, Yes.
but it depends on the timing table you set.

if you already have a SVDA, improving mileage takes time.
maybe dyno would help?
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:46 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

donnmon wrote:
Porsche60 wrote:

The Black Box is not the best ignition but the ultimate distributor alternative.


Hi Porsche60

I hope I am not misunderstanding what you mean but if you are talking about the best alternative distributor I would argue that at the moment this is the 123Tune. I don't want to upset anyone by saying this, I am just interested to essentially peer review the product and compare it to the alternatives just as I am assuming you are doing with the Black Box.

The reason I recommend this product is because it is the only truly 'plug and play' alternative to standard mechanical distributors.

Firstly the unit is really easy to install since it is self contained and needs no modifications to work.

Secondly, it is also fully USB compatible requiring no serial/USB converter.

Thirdly the software is perhaps easier to use than the spark table setup on the Black Box. Data entry is done via two curves, one for mechanical and one for vacuum.

Fourthly and perhaps most important of all the quality is very high. This is reflected in the price but it counters the disadvantage of the Black Box in that you will still need a decent distributor to trigger the unit. I have not used it but I am assuming that the black box is only as accurate as the distributor switching it? This is not a consideration with the 123Tune.

I am sure there are disadvantages to the 123Tune over other types of ignition units but as an alternative replacement distributor I have not found anything to match it except perhaps the Magnaspark digital. I would like to buy one of these to compare but I have been unable to resolve some issues I have with it so until I get an answer about those there seems to be little point.

I am interested to find other 123Tune users and discuss their experiences but it seems they are few and far between on the Samba.


I know the 123 is very good product.

Only bad thing about it is the LOOK. (same for CB's digital distributor)
and that is very important for me Wink
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Pat D
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porsche60 wrote:
Pat D wrote:
Porsche 60, I'm curious to know how many different types of programmable ignitions you have run whether with carbs or efi?


actually none Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Very Happy
I want to say first that I appreciate everything you say about the black box.
What I question is your statement about the interface, I'm not sure how more user friendly an interface can be? We made it about as simple as possible. Your entitled to your opinion, but what do you base it on? This is the only programmable ecu you have ever worked with.
You say the map sensor can not be dialed in? I'm sorry but yes it can be dialed in. We have spoke via email many times, Mark and I both have helped you understand how to program a programmable ignition system. Your understanding of air pressure "KPA" concerns me. Mark mentioned you said the air pressure were you live is 110 KPA. This is impossible, 110 kpa is 2-3 psi of positive pressure, again impossible. Yes the map sensor has an inaccuracy, all map sensors do to some point. After further research, our map sensor has a 2.5% +- inaccuracy over 5 bar, not 3%.
Again, I appreciate you using our product and your personal views on it. I feel like Mark and I have helped you understand how a programmable ignition works, doing our best at customer support.
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donnmon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:16 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

Porsche60 wrote:

I know the 123 is very good product.

Only bad thing about it is the LOOK. (same for CB's digital distributor)
and that is very important for me Wink


Thanks for the reply.

Strangely one of the things that I like about the 123Tune is the OE look. Apart from the cable connection and the lack of a vacuum can I think that the look is pretty much OE.

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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat D wrote:
Porsche60 wrote:
Pat D wrote:
Porsche 60, I'm curious to know how many different types of programmable ignitions you have run whether with carbs or efi?


actually none Embarassed Embarassed Embarassed Very Happy
I want to say first that I appreciate everything you say about the black box.
What I question is your statement about the interface, I'm not sure how more user friendly an interface can be? We made it about as simple as possible. Your entitled to your opinion, but what do you base it on? This is the only programmable ecu you have ever worked with.


I can't compare with others but I feel the dashboard can be more useful.
Easiest improvement might be coloring the timing table like other ignition software.

other my opinions would be hard to include in a simple software.
like UP/DOWN button for quick little change,
automaticaly re-map when you change the KPA or RPM range.....

data log would be great. it has histgram but it's too short.


Pat D wrote:

You say the map sensor can not be dialed in? I'm sorry but yes it can be dialed in. We have spoke via email many times, Mark and I both have helped you understand how to program a programmable ignition system. Your understanding of air pressure "KPA" concerns me. Mark mentioned you said the air pressure were you live is 110 KPA. This is impossible, 110 kpa is 2-3 psi of positive pressure, again impossible. Yes the map sensor has an inaccuracy, all map sensors do to some point. After further research, our map sensor has a 2.5% +- inaccuracy over 5 bar, not 3%.


Sorry, 110kpa was misreading. it's around 101kpa.
but my black box reads 94kpa.

I meant "dial-in" as "desired timing at desired actual MAP" but it doesn't matter if you know how fuel burns now. (that is important thing)

now I understand and I'm tuning as 94kpa as maximum after I received your answer.
94kpa is also the maximum at WOT.
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

donnmon wrote:
Porsche60 wrote:

I know the 123 is very good product.

Only bad thing about it is the LOOK. (same for CB's digital distributor)
and that is very important for me Wink


Thanks for the reply.

Strangely one of the things that I like about the 123Tune is the OE look. Apart from the cable connection and the lack of a vacuum can I think that the look is pretty much OE.


I'm an original guy. Smile
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donnmon
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat D wrote:

What I question is your statement about the interface, I'm not sure how more user friendly an interface can be? We made it about as simple as possible. Your entitled to your opinion, but what do you base it on? This is the only programmable ecu you have ever worked with.


Pat I kinda have to agree with Porsche60 here. One way to make your product much better would be to improve the interface. I have not used it because I cannot download it from your website but from the screenshots I see it could do with some work to make it a little more polished.

I don't want to sound like a 123Tune salesman but it is one of the advantages of their product. The interface is really easy to use because the graphs are more intuitive for the uninitiated and in my experience that is attractive to customers. In addition it has the abilities that Porche60 mentioned like datalogging in CSV and these can be ported to external applications like LikeGraph for real-time alternative graphic representation. The 'spark graphs' are saved in XML so they can be used with Excel to model the curves (even in 3D).

Is it possible that I can have a copy of your software as I might be able to help you with this?


Last edited by donnmon on Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:50 am; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

Porsche60 wrote:


I'm an original guy. Smile


Fully understood Very Happy
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Pat D
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

donnmon wrote:
Pat D wrote:

What I question is your statement about the interface, I'm not sure how more user friendly an interface can be? We made it about as simple as possible. Your entitled to your opinion, but what do you base it on? This is the only programmable ecu you have ever worked with.


Pat I kinda have to agree with Porsche60 here. One way to make your product much better would be to improve the interface. I have not used it because I cannot download it from your website but from the screenshots I see it could do with some work to make it a little more polished.

I don't want to sound like a 123Tune salesman but it is one of the advantages of their product. The interface is really easy to use because the graphs are more intuitive for the uninitiated and in my experience that is attractive to customers. In addition it has the abilities that Porche60 mentioned like datalogging in CSV and these can be ported to external applications like LikeGraph for alternative graphic representation. The 'spark graphs' are saved in XML so they can be used with Excel to model the curves (even in 3D).

Is it possible that I can have a copy of your software as I might be able to help you with this?
This is a thread about the Black Box and once again you are being a salesman for the 123 distributor. I think you should start another thread about the 123 distributor. We do not need your help with our software, 99 percent of our customers that we talk to have no issues with it and feel it is very user friendly.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Porsche 60, can you post a screen shot of your timing table?
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Porsche60
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:06 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

donnmon wrote:

Thirdly the software is perhaps easier to use than the spark table setup on the Black Box. Data entry is done via two curves, one for mechanical and one for vacuum.


two curves theory is easy to understand.
it's same as SVDA.
but i think it is not "fully" programmable.

as tuning my car, and as seeing timing tables from others, optimum timing curve seems not linear.
you can't set like that with only two curves.

that's why most ignition softwares use timing tables.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pat D wrote:
This is a thread about the Black Box and once again you are being a salesman for the 123 distributor. I think you should start another thread about the 123 distributor. We do not need your help with our software, 99 percent of our customers that we talk to have no issues with it and feel it is very user friendly.


Pat I didn't participate in this thread to upset you so I will do this. You say that once again I have done this but the only time you and I have discussed the 123Tune with you is in a thread on ignition alternatives which was entirely legitimate. I would have bought a Black Box and a Magnaspark Digital if you had been a little more helpful in that discussion also. I understand that this is a discussion about the Black Box and you have a more vested interest in the outcome than I do so I will leave you to it.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: Everything about CB Performance Black Box Reply with quote

Porsche60 wrote:


two curves theory is easy to understand.
it's same as SVDA.
but i think it is not "fully" programmable.

as tuning my car, and as seeing timing tables from others, optimum timing curve seems not linear.
you can't set like that with only two curves.

that's why most ignition softwares use timing tables.


I think that you misunderstand the basis of tuning with the 123Tune. It is fully programmable just it does not use a spark table like the Black Box.

Pat is right. This would appear not to be the best place to discuss this. I apologise for hijacking your thread, I just wanted to point out an alternative to the Black Box that addressed your issues and hoped to do this without upsetting anyone.

Once again I apologise for this.
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